What a day. It is my birthday and there was this crazy sprint final. I am so glad that I did not give up today and took the stage win out of this worthless position. When I saw the guys sprinting in the front already, I thought, I had to show them that I had the balls, and gave it a go. It was more something like an attack than a sprint. The way to the finish was quite long but I said to myself, that I did not need to save power anymore, I could become fourth or even first. The finish was a little bit uphill and that played into my hands because I have the power. I am so proud of this victory. It is indescribable.
We intended to be in the front of the bunch with 1.5 kilometres to go, because there were narrow roads and many corners. The pace was so high that the field was a long row and it worked quite well. I was at Tom's back wheel, but two other riders pushed me away and I had to decide, either to decelerate or to resist and to crash. So I slowed down a bit and lost my position. With 500 metres to go, there was a chicane and when I got out of it, I saw the evil. Well, that was a near miss. I am mega proud. The atmosphere is awesome here, the people are crazy for cycling - in a positive way. That is a lot of fun.
The organisers gave a crate of champagne to me today. If we wanted, we could really get bladdered. But of course we will not do so as we are pros. Nevertheless we are going to click glasses.
Tomorrow morning, at 8.30, we will leave Ireland towards Southern Italy. Then we will relax a little bit during the rest day and enjoy a coffee on the beach and some sunshine hopefully.